On February 20 and March 2 the new Cantata of Luc van Hove will be premiered in Leuven. The work was commissioned by Luca School of Arts, campus Lemmens in Leuven, Belgium. The cantata opus 54 refers to the former religious and spiritual meaning of a cantata….
The composition reflects on the notion humanity, whether or not supported by religious belief. Four different texts out of three different traditions are put to music: Psalm 22 (Old Testament, in Latin), the Beatitudes from Matthew (New Testament, in English), and two small texts from the Zen-Buddhist tradition (one set to music in an ancient Shino-Japanese language, the other also in English).
The fragment of Psalm 22 depicts man as being thrown on earth surrounded by violence and cruelty. Against that, the other texts show ways for compassionate human behavior, and respect for human life itself.
The composition is written in one movement, though the four different texts mark different characters and tempi as well. The music is predominantly slow and introspective, only interrupted by the faster and more energetic music of the Psalm.
The starting point for my composition was again this Psalm 22, which I already put to music some years ago, then for an a cappella choir. I wanted to create, against the dark and hopeless sentences of that text, a more hopeful perspective for human behavior. The current, ongoing crisis for so many refugees clearly instigated me to write the music.”
(Luc van Hove)